Missouri Valley residents evacuate as Willow Creek floods

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (WOWT) -- County and city leaders are keeping a close eye on Missouri Valley as a creek there is now threatening neighbors.

Willow Creek waters rising near Missouri Valley, Iowa, on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Residents were advised to evacuate the area.

Residents in the Willow Park area are under a mandatory evacuation order.

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Residents there have been through this sort of thing before, but Richard Burbridge, one of several Willow Park residents who are being forced to evacuate their homes, said he has never seen the creek like this.

Willow Creek went through different stages throughout the day, with an ice jam blocking water flow for about three hours.

“I am worried. I am very concerned, yes,” Police Chief Ed Murray said. “To say I wouldn’t be worried, this isn’t a threat would be very dishonest of me. So yes, I am worried.”

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Chief Murray's concerns have now become a reality as people are packing up and moving to higher ground until they get word water levels are going down.

The situation is reminiscent of 2007, when Missouri Valley flooded, forcing many to evacuate.

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This time, however, the conditions are different.

“Under the conditions we are facing right now, this is unusual,” Murray said. “It's a different set of circumstances, with frozen ground and a foot of snow or more, and heavy rain.”